Low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) exert a key role in the transport of esterified cholesterol to tissues. Among the atherogenic modifications of LDLs, the oxidative modification has been mainly investigated as a major risk factor for accelerating atherogenesis. Since LDL sphingolipids are also emerging as important regulators of the atherogenic process, increasing attention is devoted to the effects of sphingomyelinase (SMase) on LDL structural and atherogenic properties. The aims of the study were to investigate the effect of SMase treatment on the physical-chemical properties of LDLs. Moreover, we evaluated cell viability, apoptosis, and oxidative and inflammatory status in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) treated with either ox-LDLs or SMase-treated LDLs (SMase-LDLs). Both treatments were associated with the accrual of the intracellular ROS and upregulation of the antioxidant Paraoxonase 2 (PON2), while only SMase-LDLs induced an increase of superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2), suggesting the activation of a feedback loop to restrain the detrimental effects of ROS. The increased caspase-3 activity and reduced viability observed in cells treated with SMase-LDLs and ox-LDLs suggest a pro-apoptotic effect of these modified lipoproteins on endothelial cells. Moreover, a strong proinflammatory effect of SMase-LDLs compared to ox-LDLs was confirmed by an increased activation of NF-kappa B and consequent increased expression of its downstream cytokines IL-8 and IL-6 in HUVECs.
Effect of Sphingomyelinase-Treated LDLs on HUVECs / Giuliani, Angelica; Morresi, Camilla; Mazzuferi, Gabriele; Bellachioma, Luisa; Ramini, Deborah; Sabbatinelli, Jacopo; Olivieri, Fabiola; Bacchetti, Tiziana; Ferretti, Gianna. - In: MOLECULES. - ISSN 1420-3049. - 28:5(2023), p. 2100. [10.3390/molecules28052100]